Olympic 2020 Boosts Japan’s Sports Market (part 2)

Trendy Outdoor Clothing becomes a Fashion Statement

It seems that the traditional Japanese society is getting a little younger and looser. Clothing is not an exception. Although in the past, suits and costumes were more or less compulsory on the job, now the boundaries are breaking down more and more.

Trendy outdoor clothing for the whole day is in particular demand when more and more people want to make a fashion statement and wear clothes suitable both for work and for a weekend excursion.

International Brands Need a Concept for Japan

According to Yasutake, it is necessary that the international brands develop a special concept only for the Japanese market. This begins with the fact that most Japanese are smaller than, for example, Europeans. So brands should adjust the cut of the clothing accordingly. Moreover, the average customer in Japan is somewhat older and picky. For example, The North Face does it very well as they have completely localized their offer.

Generally, the opportunities for international brands to compete with local top dogs like Asics or Mizuno are quite good since they are highly regarded by Japanese customers.

Football World Stars Podolski and Iniesta as Brand Ambassadors

The example of the football club Vissel Kobe in the J-League shows that the big business is relying on the opportunities in the sports industry which are improving again. Head of e-commerce giant Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani has lured world football stars such as Lukas Podolski or Andrés Iniesta to Kobe with a lot of money.

The investment should pay off: fan articles and merchandising of the professional league have been sold through its online mall since 2017. According to the Japanese government’s plans, it is expected that total sales of sporting goods will rise from 1.7 trillion yen (14.2 billion euros) in 2012 to 3.7 trillion yen (30.9 billion euros) in 2025. This really sounds like a mood of optimism in the Japanese sports industry.

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